Pack a shoebox this Christmas

Operation Christmas Child helps needy children around the globe

By Casey Lessard

Operation Christmas Child is back for its 15th year of providing the world’s poorest children with a Christmas gift of toys, hygiene items and school supplies from Canadian families. The project, adopted by Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse charity in 1993, has seen 54 million shoe boxes from 11 countries hand-delivered to children worldwide, with Canadians donating about 10 per cent of the boxes collected by the charity last year.
This year’s shoe boxes will be collected from November 5 to 10 at collection centres across Canada, including Belongers in Exeter and other churches in the area. Operation Christmas Child is calling on children, families, churches, businesses, schools, scout troops, and civic organizations to join this massive effort to bring joy and hope to needy children abroad.
One thing to note is the fact that toothpaste is not allowed this year due to customs regulations in the receiving countries. Shoe boxes should be filled with toys, hygiene items, school supplies, wrapped hard candy and an encouraging letter.
To find the drop-off location closest to you, see or contact churches nearby to see if they are running the program. To volunteer to inspect and process the boxes between November 12 and December 8, call 1-800-303-1269.